The Two Parts Of Brunei Finally Get A Direct Road Link
 
Jan 05, 2020
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A massive bridge project linking the western part of Brunei with the country’s geographically isolated easternmost district of Temburong, an exclave separated from the rest of Brunei by Malaysia and Brunei Bay, has been completed, the contractor announced on January 2.

China State Construction Engineering Corporation said it has finished works on a 12-kilometer viaduct system, the $1.7-billion Temburong Bridge, over the mangrove swamps of the Labu Forest Reserve. The bridge is part of a 30-kilometer roadway system which will provide a land link between the Temburong and Muara districts and with it with Bandar Seri Begawan, the capital of the sultanate.

The bridge is crucial for Temburong and its roughly 10,500 inhabitants as the separation from the rest of Brunei has hindered economic growth of the district ever since. The project is one of the key national development projects pursued by the Brunei government, and also the largest bridge construction project ever in the history of Brunei.

The bridge and the new roadway system will allow land commuters to travel between the two territories without passing through Malaysia, hence bypassing the four immigration checkpoints along the current route, which is frequently congested. This will also improve the mobility for Temburong residents to other parts of Brunei, especially to the capital Bandar Seri Begawan and shorten travel time. Currently, the direct connection between the capital and Bangar, Temburong’s main town, is via water taxi services which take about 45 minutes. Road traveling time will be reduced from two hours to 30 minutes.

The other main contractor for the project’s civil engineering works is South Korea’s Daelim. The company is handling other parts of the project, including additional bridges and viaduct systems. There will also be two tunnels. The entire roadway is scheduled to open this year.

The Temburong bridge section is the second-longest in Southeast Asia behind Malaysia’s 24-kilometer Second Penang Bridge.